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North and South Nodes

The Soul's Direction Over a Lifetime

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North and South Nodes

Paul Edmundson/Getty Images

Your Soul's Path

At the moment of your birth, the Moon’s nodes were at a point that intersected the plane of the ecliptic. Mathematically, it’s where the lines of the Moon’s monthly path meet the lines of the Sun’s yearly path around the Zodiac. The Moon’s nodes in the birth chart tell the story of its relationship to the Earth and Sun. In astrology, these very important points are indicators of your soul’s evolutionary path.

The South Node is the direction you’re coming from, and the North Node is where you’re heading. The South Node can be considered your inheritance, and that includes karma from past lives. It’s like a distant echo that reverberates into this life, and has an irresistible pull. The sign and house of your South Node holds insights about the instinctual behaviors and a hidden history that’s impressed on your soul. It’s easy, but not very fulfilling to replay that drama, since the groove is there and it comes naturally.

A Lifelong Journey

As we mature during a lifetime, the values of the North Node start to seem more attainable. It represents the kind of life we can achieve with conscious effort. And by doing so, it brings resolution to the unfinished business of the South Node. This is the chart’s north star, and a challenge to take only the best of the past into the future.

With the wisdom of the years, we start to inhabit the lifestyle of the North Node. It takes time to overcome the fear it stirs up, and get used to this very unfamiliar way of being. The polarity is seen as an evolutionary path, but that doesn’t mean that the South Node is left behind completely. It’s about harmonizing the opposing energies, and using that as anchor that gives your life even more of a sense of purpose.

From Inheritance (South Node) to Emergence (North Node)
  • The North and South nodes are not planets, but points in the chart that point to the slow evolution to grow into certain traits.
  • The South Node carries the impression left on the soul from past lives, which you could call the soul’s base.
  • The South Node’s qualities are built-in, and require little effort.
  • The North Node’s qualities must be consciously developed, and grow more filled in as the years go by.
Leaving the Familiar
  • Astrologers place more emphasis on the North Node these days, as a signpost showing the soul which way to go.
  • The South Node carries “bad karma” showing up as negative patterning, which we need to learn to grow past.
  • The South Node pulls like a magnet toward instinctive reactions, which can keep us spinning our wheels.
  • The soul grows when that instinctive reaction is resisted, and we embrace the qualities of the North Node.
Ways to Bring in the North Node
  • Read up on the North Node, and look for ways to integrate these traits into your life.
  • Try meditating on the Zodiac sign, and allowing images and keywords to emerge; see yourself living that life in vivid color.
  • The New Moon in the sign of your North Node is an excellent time to set intentions with those images in mind.
  • Transits to the North Node will draw out potential and trigger growth.
Toward Integration
  • The gifts of the South Node can be carries into the new North Node lifestyle, while the rest is left behind.
  • Aspects and the house placement of the South Node hint at past lives.
  • The aspects and house placement of the North Node helps you plan your strategy, as you evolve over time.
  • A harmonious blend of South Node and North Node traits is a way to balance karma, and reach a deeper level of soul completion.
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